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South Australian government pleased with Tour Down Under

Australia's Tour Down Under last month attracted record crowds, visitor numbers and income, the South Australian state government said Friday.

By Agence France Presse

Australia’s Tour Down Under last month attracted record crowds, visitor numbers and income, the South Australian state government said Friday.

Germany’s Andre Greipel won his second Tour Down Under victory with  American Lance Armstrong also attracting intense worldwide interest as he began the season with his new RadioShack team at the Tour down Under.

According to government figures, the January 17-24 event around Adelaide attracted 770,500 spectators, up from 760,500 in 2009 and an increased 43,700 visitors to South Australia for the Tour.

It was estimated that the Tour had a $41.5 million ($37.2 million U.S.) economic impact on the state compared with $39 million the year before.

“The 2010 Tour Down Under was the biggest and best in the event’s history, with record crowds, public participation and economic impact,” race director Mike Turtur said in a statement.

“We’ve been blown away by the success of the race, which this year fielded the strongest group of riders in its history with the likes of Armstrong, (Cadel) Evans, Greipel and (Robbie) McEwen.”